Ecclestone slams storm surrounding Vettel’s pass

By Ubaid Parkar, 30 November 2012
© AP Photo/Luca Bruno

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone isn’t happy with the controversy created after the Brazilian Grand Prix which suggested that Sebastian Vettel made an illegal overtaking move that could cost the Red Bull driver his third title.

Footage from the season-finale race on Sunday indicated that the German passed the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne when yellow caution lights were displayed, a period which doesn’t allow any overtaking in the marked section of the track.

On closer inspection though, a marshal was seen waving a green flag, which takes precedent over the lights as per the rules, which places the 25-year-old Vettel in the clear.

Even the FIA reasoned that there was no reason to report the incident at the time but will provide Ferrari an explanation as the Italian team had sent a letter to motorsport’s governing body requesting to clarify the episode.

"It's a shame because everything had gone so well," Ecclestone told the Daily Telegraph. "It was a super race, a super championship. Now everyone is talking about this. The problem is that no-one knows what is going on."

If he had been proven guilty, Vettel would have been handed a drive-through penalty which amounts to a 20 seconds added to his time, a decision that would elevate Fernando Alonso as the champion.

"In the rules and regs normally you have to protest," the 82-year-old pointed out referring to the convention that stipulates that all disputes need to be lodged within 30 minutes of the official publication of the race results.

"They (Ferrari) missed that time. Then there is the fact that a green flag was shown, which nobody seems to dispute. It's a complete joke. What they are saying in that letter is wrong. I don't think there needs to be any action taken. It's completely and utterly wrong," he insisted.


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